Sometimes it’s hard on this blog to keep my “outer life” from spilling over into my “inner life”. Tonight’s one of those nights. This afternoon, we had the Australian premiere screening of the indie feature I produced. I was so nervous about how it would screen to Aussie audiences, but similar to its reception in North America, it played very well. I am proud of the film, it’s important, it’s a film about abuse and it adds to the discourse surrounding what happens when a child makes an allegation of abuse. Do we believe children? Sexual abuse divides. It erodes relationships, systems and structures. People were impacted and maybe survivors felt heard and maybe someone was able to think differently about their own abuse experience. I don’t know. But anyway it felt good and special. Then, later, I had to go and visit a student film set I was supervising. Everything is being made under strict COVID operations, face masks, social distancing, shields, goggles etc. Despite this, I felt like I went back in time to my late teens/ early twenties. Making films in laneways and grungy rental houses. I talked to one female filmmaker and she blurted out how depressed she was last year (studying her final grad year in lockdown). She lives alone and her mental health took a real toll. It was sobering hearing from her, how hard the experience was and I just acknowledged that we felt it too, but as teachers and leaders, it was important for us to stay positive and reframe the situation. However, we all just felt so sad for the students and empathised with their situation.
She was a very funny person, not funny haha, but just funny weird. Kinda wore her heart on her sleeve. She said “my films are dark. I make Films about women’s trauma” and I’m thinking, man I love this girl. Imagine being 20 and having the confidence to say that. I didn’t even know what trauma was at 20, yet I was completely scarred by it. Most of the crew were women and I just felt this strong feminist girl vibe on set and I loved it. The young women who are growing up (I know I sound so old) inspire me. They are astute and clever and so cognisant of the patriarchy. It’s awesome. They are smart and powerful and authentic.
I felt so depressed leading up to the screening today. It’s been such a big weekend. I know today sounds so exciting but seriously this morning I would have preferred to be dead than go to the screening. I felt so tired and anxious. Feelings of fear and anxiety are reminders of my trauma and so I guess it’s not surprising that I was depressed and dissociative. I could hear my parts clamouring for attention. But I muddled through it and the day is now over and I am in bed and tomorrow is a new day. This will become an experience I can draw on and a moment to speak about one day.